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The Many Saints of Newark gives “The Sopranos” fans a chance for more future content, sequels

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On Friday, October 1st, the long-awaited debut of The Many Saints of Newark came out in theaters and on the HBO Max streaming service, giving fans of The Sopranos a chance to fill a 14-year need.

The show that ended in June of 2007 with the “Fade to Black” scene made fans wonder what happened with the final scene. Will we ever know? It’s something we have discussed since 2007 and probably will never stop debating on what happened to Tony Soprano.

What could have been unfortunately ended with the passing of James Gandolfini, who played Tony Soprano. But his son, Michael Gandolfini, got the chance to honor his father and the character by playing younger Tony Soprano in The Many Saints of Newark.

While some fans were expecting the Sopanos to just continue where it left of, they had forgotten what an actual prequel was. The actual back story to the present. That was what this movie was doing.

It goes back to 1967, where Tony is about nine years old. They show the scene where Tony sees his father and Uncle Junior getting arrested at the carnival, which was shown in the series during a therapy flashback scene.

Tony hadn’t quite gotten developed into the potential mafia leader yet, the early stages developed the up and coming leadership of Dickie Moltisanti, Christopher’s father, and his rise.

Dickie takes power from his father, “Hollywood Dick” Moltisanti by killing him in the car, then throwing him into a mechanic shop and setting it on fire to make it look like he was killed by the African Americans in the Newark riots. That is questioned by Dickie’c uncle, Sal, who is the twin of Hollywood and also played by Ray Liotta.

Liotta was always thought of to play a role on The Soprano’s, but he turned down the chance to play Ralph Cifaretto, which ended up going to Joe Pantoliano. Liotta was well known for starring in Good Fellas as Henry Hill, thus, why fans wondered why he never did a role on the show. But maybe it was better off.

Liotta is such a high-profile character and by taking on a smaller role in the movie, it allowed for other characters to develop, which is what the Many Saints movie is supposed to do in feature Dickie and young Tony. But, having someone of prominence like Liotta helps in this movie by giving it credibility.

Now, this might be a spoiler for some, so if you haven’t watched the prequel yet, you might not want to read on.

Okay, now for the rest of you who have watched the movie and won’t be spoiled by anything else written.

The death of Dickie Moltisanti came as a major shock to many watching. Up until October 1st, we had always wondered about the police officer who Tony had told Christopher to kill, saying he was the one who killed him.

But we actually learn is that Uncle Junior was the one who planned the hit. Was it due to jealousy over Dickie being seen in higher regards by Johnny Soprano, or was it over Dickie laughing at him when he fell on the steps? That left us at a cliffhanger when we see Junior taking the phone call to tell him “it’s done,” meaning Dickie was taken care of and killed.

What that does is set up for a possible sequel for more content and more stories to be told.

Does Junior tell Tony in the future about what happened to Dickie? Does he tell him that he ordered the hit? Was the police offer that Christoper killed really the one who did it? If not, why choose that cop?

A sequel to this can lead into more development of Tony’s rise through the mafia. Sopranos fans would probably love to see the night where he and Jackie Aprile rob Feech La Manna’s card game.

The Many Saints of Newark had Dickie as the main character and in the Tony Soprano role as the lead of the movie, as Tony Soprno was still in his youth and not quite developed yet as a mobster. Although it was fun to see Tony and Jackie rob the ice cream truck in the movie.

A sequel to this can then transition to a younger Tony and his rise to stardom, which men’s they’d probably have to get someone who looks more like James Gandolfini rather than having his son play Tony again. But that’s possible.

The prequel did what it was supposed to do. It gave everyone a chance to get more of the show by bringing the story all the way back 30-years ago from the origin of the show, and it allows for more movies to be made off it.

That was what the “Fade fo Black” scene in 2007 did. We all wanted more. We wanted to know what happened next.

The Many Saints of Newark gave us that by starting at the beginning. Now all that waits is when the sequel will be made for us to go further into the development of Tony Soprano.

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Doug Rush

Doug Rush is entering his 18th season as a writer. His career dates back to when he was with The Asbury Park Press covering high school football, The Harlem Globetrotters and The Lakewood Blueclaws. In 2009, he joined Bleacher Report, covering the New York Yankees and New York Giants, amassing over 2 million reader views. After 2013, he left B/R to join Sports Media 101 to cover the Yankees and Giants. While with Sports Media 101, Rush was named to the Pro Football Writers Association of America. He was there until July of 2016. In January of 2018, Rush joined USA Today as part of the Giants Wire staff to cover the Giants. He is still currently with them, as he does weekly analysis for them during the season. In September of 2021, Rush joined Pro Sports Extra, where he will be covering MLB, the NFL, NBA, WWE and AEW. Doug is from Toms River, New Jersey where he has two children, Carson and Peyton.
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